Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Variety Is the Spice of Life: The Cookie Cake Pie Edition

I originally ran across the concept of a Cookie Cake Pie earlier on in the year and decided that it need to become part of my regular rotation. But I've just been finding so many other new and equally enticing recipes that I put this one on the back burner.

The ingredients are simple: one pie crust, one batch cookie dough, one cake mix (the "snack size" that makes 12 cupcakes is perfect for this; otherwise, you should only use half the mix), and frosting. The directions are just as easy: slap that pie crust in a pie plate, smash the cookie dough down in there and top with cake batter, bake it, cool it, frost it.

Everything can be a pre-made or a box mix. Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.

But here comes the tricky part; try to stay with me now: exactly what kind of crust, dough, batter, frosting do you use? The possibilities are endless! I couldn't commit to just one combination, so I made two of these bad boys.

Cookie Cake Pie Version 1
  • one pre-made pie crust (ain't not shame in my game)
  • one batch white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies dough
  • one snack-sized chocolate cupcake mix (and the necessary eggs, oil and water)
  • one 8oz can buttercream frosting
  • In pie plate layer pie crust, cookie dough (smash it down in there) and cake batter.
  • Cover the crust with foil for the first 20 to 25 minutes of baking.
  • Bake at 350 until the cake is fully baked (it took around 35 to 45 minutes) and everything else will just kind of work out.
  • Cool completely and frost. Then slice that baby up and enjoy!
The buttercream frosting is a new thing from both Duncan Hines and Pilsbury. I used the Duncan Hines buttercream this time around and found that it pretty much tasted like vanilla frosting. Seeing as I do not like canned vanilla frosting (fluffy white all the way!), I was not impressed. But this version was still tasty over all.

Now be sure to clean those spectacles before you read this next part just to make use you don't miss the important difference.

BROWNIE Cake Pie Version 2
  • one pre-made pie crust
  • one batch pre-made brownie bites (these were quite elusive, shout out to TollHouse on this one)
  • one snack-sized funfetti cupcake mix (and the necessary eggs, oil and water)
  • one 8oz can fluffy white (holla!) frosting

Directions...same as above, sucka!

As Michelle Tanner would say, "Yummy in the tummy!" Like I said, this is a fun and easy recipe. And the only thing to limit you is your own creativity. I'm still contemplating mixing up the pie crust to a graham or an oreo. I'll be sure to let you all know how that turns out.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

This is one of my mom's staple recipes that always goes over well with a crowd. And it was another one of the recipes mom and I made for the party. I don't have all the details, but I think she got it from a Pilsbury baking book.

Now, you're probably thinking, "Chocolate chips and cheese? I don't know how I feel about that." But I assure you that (a) it's not what you think and (2) you will regret not making it for your next function.

Forget what you think you know about cheese balls; this one's for after dinner, not before. If you don't like chocolate chips or cream cheese, forget about that, too. You'll like this.

Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

  • 8oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2c butter, softened
  • 1/4t vanilla
  • 3/4c powdered sugar
  • 2T brown sugar
  • 3/4c mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4c pecans, chopped
  • chocolate graham crackers (for spreading)
  1. Cream together cream cheese, butter and vanilla until fluffy.
  2. Gradually add sugars and beat until just combined.
  3. Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  5. Shape into ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for another hour.
  6. Unwrap cheese and roll it in the chopped pecans. Try to get as many nuts to stick to it as you can. (That's what she said?)
  7. Serve with the grahams.
Oh. My. Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooodness. This stuff is Tony the Tiger grrrrrrrreat. Tons of people at the party were asking about what was in it and were looking for the recipe from the mama.

Now the original recipe just says to spread this mess on a regular graham cracker, but if you can find chocolate graham crackers, they really take this entire concoction to a new level.

Who Put the Dip in the Dip Duh Dip Duh Dip?

It was me!

My folks had themselves a p-a-r-t-y on Saturday night, so I went up to visit. Beforehand, my ma and I made some tasty treats. One of them was this SUPER easy (I used to date a guy like that) Nutella Cream Cheese Dip. It was so easy to make that if I called it a Nutella Cream Cheese Milk Dip, you would know all the ingredients.

Please, please, please tell me you have experienced Nutella. It's a chocolate hazelnut spread that you'll often see equated to PB. Oh man, it's good. Like eat it directly out of the jar good.

Nutella Cream Cheese Dip
  • 1/2c Nutella
  • 1/2c cream cheese, room temp
  • 1/3 to 1/2c milk (depending on how thin you want it)
  1. Cream together Nutella and cream cheese until no white streaks are left.
  2. Beat in milk until creamy (a few minutes). Like I mentioned, you can keep adding as you see fit.
  3. Let is chill. (But you'll want to take it out to give it time to warm up a bit so it's easier to spread.)
It goes great with apples. I threw some mallows and pretzels out there, too (as you can see). It turned out great and was a hit at the party.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bacon Rice Krispies Treats

Dear Bacon,

We've been apart for far too long.

Hogs and kisses,


Get it? Get it? Hogs, not hugs! Because it's bacon...

Aaaaaaanyways, while peddling my baked goods around Duke Camp Out this weekend, I was asked if any of them contained bacon. The answer, surprisingly, was no. Regardless, word of my bacon exploits spread and I was requested to make a treat of e-pig (and she's back!) proportions.

I have made Bacon Rice Krispies Treats once before. It was for a church breakfast gathering. WAIT WAIT! Before you judge, think about it: bacon, cereal (with marshmallows) and butter. This is just your run-of-the-mill breakfast fare. And they were a hit; Nobel Prize worthy, I was told.

Like I am prone to do with these types of treats, I won't be putting up a full recipe. But I'll still give you the need to know.

Bacon Rice Krispies Treats

  • Your favorite Rice Krispies Treats recipe
  • 1 pkg. cooked and crumbled bacon
  1. You know the drill.
Tip: Mix the bacon into the cereal before you add it to the mallows.

Yes, you read correctly: one whole package of bacon. But if you look at the picture, you'll notice the proportions work out well. I find that broiling the bacon is quick and easy and a good way to get it extra crisp.

I took these to Trivia Night. There was moaning (and not the wailing/gnashing of teeth kind, the good kind). And THEN I let them try the bacon treats. High-oh! I kid! I kid!

I also got a "If you weren't married..." from a hot guy with an accent. That should count for at least double.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

I should really start posting non-baking dishes. For instance, these cookies we an ending to a fabulous Chicken Pot Pie with a side of Cranberry Relish. Again, it's the season for pumpkin, so expect a few more pumpkin-y recipes from me before winter hits.

I was looking for something easy, not too sweet and not super bad for you. I think these cookies did the trick. The recipe uses a pre-made oatmeal cookie mix, so I basically just had to throw in a few ingredients and then whatever mix-ins I desired.

I found this recipe via Libby's (providers of pure pumpkin puree). Did you like the alliteration there? Just showing my folks that the money they poured into my English degree is paying off.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1pkg. oatmeal cookie mix
  • 1/2c pure pumpkin puree
  • 3T veg oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1c of whatever mix-ins you want. (I chose 1/2c of craisins and 1/2c of white choc. chips.)
  1. Preheat that oven to 375ยบ F.
  2. Combine cookie mix, pumpkin, oil and egg in large bowl.
  3. Stir in mix-ins.
  4. Drop by tablespoons about 2 inches apart onto ungreased (always parchment lined for me) baking sheets.
  5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned and set in centers (mine took about 7). Cool on baking sheets for 1 minute; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
The boys put a hurtin' on the pot pie, but they (sans Kyle) aren't big on sweets. So the dent in the pile of cookies was relatively insignificant. I took the rest of the cookies along to my Tuesday night Women's Bible Study.

I always want to abbreviate on my calendar as BS...funny, but not accurate. Yes, not appropriate either, but being appropriate, as you might have guessed, is not something I consider a priority.

I got lots of compliments from the ladies on the cookies, but no marriage proposals this time around. Tough crowd.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Meta-Dessert #3: Gooey Pecan Pie Brownies

Saving the best and most decadent for last! Yes, Gooey Pecan Pie Brownies. And don't be thinking that I just threw a few pecans and some caramel into a pan of brownies. This is an entire frozen Pecan Pie chopped up and baked into two Betty Crocker Supreme Brownie mixes. Now that's what I call a meta-dessert.

Go big or go home, suckas!

This recipe is from the Cake Mix Doctor (I'm telling you this chick knows what's what). When Kyle and I read the ingredients, we started laughing from the sheer ridiculousness. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

Warning: Be sure to gird your loins before taking a look at these babies.

Ok, I'll give you a moment to compose yourself. Nope, you still have a bit of drool riiiiiiight there. Yup, you got it. Moving on...

Gooey Pecan Pie Brownies

  • 2 boxes brownie mix (Like I said, I used Betty Crocker Supreme with the Hershey's syrup in it.)
  • 2 sticks of butter, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 frozen Pecan Pie
Yes, those are the ingredients.

  1. Again take a moment.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour 9x13 pan.
  3. Mix brownie mix, melted butter and eggs in a BIIIIIIG bowl until incorporated (about 40 strokes). Heehee...yes, I'm like a 12-year old. And if you know why I was giggling, you are, too. Don't judge.
  4. Keep pie in freezer until ready to use (it's not really frozen frozen). Remove from pan and chop into 3/4 inch pieces (I think mine were a little smaller than that).
  5. Fold pie chunks into brownie mix and spread into prepared pan. Smooth down with spatula.
  6. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes until the edges are set and the middle is only a little soft to the touch.
  7. Let cool completely for at least 1 hour.
  8. Cut them into bars and pray to Jesus that your heart doesn't stop from the awesomeness upon consumption. (Although what a way to go.)

So good. Soooooooooooooooooooooooo good. Chopping up the pie wasn't difficult, but folding it into the already ridiculously thick batter was a chore. Of course, it took way longer for them to bake than 55 minutes, but that seems to be a theme throughout my baking. Yet when I tried to out maneuver that trickery with the muffins, it backfired. Blast! (The visual: me shaking my fist in a "Curses, foiled again" manner).

And even after the extended baking time, they were quite gooey. (I suppose that's part of the reason for the "gooey" in the name, aside from the pie itself). But I needed to get them out of the oven so they could cool, and I could take them to my men-folk.

By merely reading this post you've already added inches to your thighs. But it is worth every nanometer. Suffice to say I received a number of marriage proposals over the weekend.

I will be making these again. Oh yes, I will be making these again.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Meta-Dessert #2: Blueberry Muffin Pop Tart Muffins

Blueberry muffins are a classic breakfast item...so are Pop Tarts. So the geniuses at Kelloggs created a Blueberry Muffin Pop Tart. This is the description from the website: Mash two super-tasty breakfasts together, and this is what you get: sweet, sprinkly icing on a golden muffin crust packed with blueberry bits filling.

And because I am a SUPER genius, I thought, "Let's take this one step further and put the Blueberry Muffin Pop Tarts...IN A MUFFIN!" Oh my gosh, did your head just explode?

Although I had great success with the ATK Blueberry Muffins previously, I wanted to try out a something new, so the base of my muffins is courtesy of Alton Brown.

Check out this awesome picture. You can see the gooey chunks of Pop Tart. Yes!

Blueberry Muffin Pop Tart Muffins

  • 12 1/2oz. cake flour
  • 1t baking soda
  • 2t baking powder
  • heavy pinch salt
  • 1c sugar
  • 1/2c vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1c yogurt (I used low-fat vanilla)
  • 8 Blueberry Muffin Pop Tarts
  1. Preheat oven to 380 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
  3. Remove crust from Pop Tarts and chop into 12 pieces each.
  4. In another large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, egg and yogurt.
  5. Add the dry ingredients reserving 1T of the dry ingredients and toss with the Pop Tarts. Stir mixture for a count of 10.
  6. Add most of the Pop Tarts (save like 12 pieces) to mixture and stir 3 more times.
  7. Using a 1/4c measuring cup, add the mixture to greased muffin pans. Place one piece of Pop Tart on top of each muffin and press down lightly.
  8. Place into the oven and increase the temperature to 400 degrees. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, rotating pan halfway through.
  9. Remove from oven and turn out, upside down on tea towel to cool completely. (The Pop Tarts on top might stick though, so pick them up every once in a while).
The original recipe called for baking them for 20 to 25 minutes. And I think I tried to do the total 25 they wound up too brown in my opinion, so I say bake less at first and then see how it goes. You definitely need to let them cool though because the Pop Tart goo will probably blazin' hot when it comes out of the oven. Plus it gives the Tart a chance to solidify.

They were hella tasty, albeit on the dry side. I think next time I'll try the Pop Tarts with the ATK muffin recipe that I've used before.

Meta-Dessert #1: Reese's Rolo Cake Bars

This weekend was grad school camp out for Duke basketball season tickets. Basically it's 36 hours of sleep deprived debauchery. A handful of beer-filled boys being stuck in one spot for an extended period of time is a great opportunity for me to top off that beer with some baked goods.

I had a few ideas in my head and realized that I had a meta-dessert theme happening, each treat more intense than the last. We'll start with Friday nights concoction and move on from there.

I've make these cake bars a couple of times before only using Rolos, but this time around Kyle suggested adding in some Reese's Pieces. Good call, sucka. The original recipe was from Allrecipes.com; however, I totally followed the recipe incorrectly the first time. It turned out so well that I just continued to make it my way. So no need to link to anything else.

This picture isn't the greatest, but it's going to have to do.

Reese's Rolo Cake Bars
  • 1pkg yellow cake mix
  • 2/3c sweetened condensed milk (I used fat-free)
  • 1/4c melted butter
  • 36 Rolos, halved
  • 1/2 to 3/4c Reese's Pieces
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease 9x13 pan.
  2. Mix together cake mix, milk and butter.
  3. Smash half of the mixture into the bottom of the pan and bake for 10-15 minutes (until golden brown).
  4. Remove pan from oven and press Rolos, cut-side down, into the warm cake. Then, evenly pour Reese's Pieces over the cake.
  5. Crumble the rest of the cake mixture over of the Rolos and Reese's Pieces. Bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes until cake mix is baked through.
  6. Cool cake and cut into bars to serve.

Oh my gosh these things are awesome. They are all crunchy and gooey and crumbly at the same time. I think they were a good start to the weekend. They got rave reviews and were polished off quickly.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Great Pumpkin...Bread

It's officially fall! Time to bust out the pumpkin and apple recipes. I decided to start the season off right with one of Kyle's favorites.

I'm not particularly a fan of pumpkin bread. I don't know why. But Kyle sure likes it, and he is partial to this particular recipe. That being said, this is a flavorful, dense and moist bread. And it's dairy-free, which is a bonus for me should I choose to eat some. Shout out to Kyle's mom for hooking me up with the recipe.

It's again time for Conversations with Kyle. I'm sure you notice the chunk missing from the bread. I went to take a picture of the bread and it was there. Trying to figure out how that happened went a little something like this...

Becky: Kyle, there is a chunk missing from the bread. I was hoping to take a picture of it. Did it fall apart or did you tear a piece off?
Kyle: Neither. I bit it off.
Becky: ...

Are you sensing a pattern with how many of my conversations end with my husband?

Yes, Kyle took a bite directly from the loaf of bread. I guess he was done sharing.

Pumpkin Bread
  • 15 oz pumpkin puree
  • 1c vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 1/2c all-purpose flour
  • 3c sugar
  • 1 1/2t baking soda
  • 1 1/2t salt
  • 1 1/2t ground allspice
  • 1 1/2t ground nutmeg
  • 2t ground cinnamon
  • 1c chopped walnuts
  • 1t baking powder
  1. Mix pumpkin, oil and eggs.
  2. In a BIIIIIIIIG bowl, sift together dry ingredients (nuts, too).
  3. Pour the pumpkin mix over the dry ingredients and blend thoroughly.
  4. Split between two greased loaf pans (I use regular-sized glass pans) and bake at 300F for 60 to 75 minutes.
We don't usually put the walnuts in the bread; however, it makes two loaves so we thought we might as well try it out in one of the loaves. Ironically, once we put the nuts in the bread, we didn't think there were enough. The original recipe calls for 1/2c of walnuts split between two loaves but I doubled it in the recipe above to reflect our new opinion.

OH! So, I said before that I am not particularly a fan of pumpkin bread in general (there are other things I'd rather have) but the batter, oooooooo the batter. I could sit down with that bowl and eat that mess with a spoon. Soooo tasty.

If you are looking for a baked good to give as a gift, this bread is a sure bet. I like how it makes two loaves so we (read: Kyle) can keep one and then give away or share the other.